Kid Rock faces trial over Waffle House brawl

Kid Rock faces trial over Waffle House brawl

Star hick-hopper Kid Rock will be sitting in a DeKalb County courtroom on Tuesday, a defendant in a lawsuit over a pre-dawn brawl at a Waffle House three years ago.

The performer, whose legal name is Robert James Ritchie, was arrested after the scuffle and sentenced to 12 months probation and anger management counseling. Kid Rock and six others are defendants in a lawsuit brought by Harlen Akins, a 41-year-old Decatur man who used to be a music promoter.

The trial is being held in DeKalb State Court in Decatur before Judge Johnny Panos.

The Detroit-area Kid Rock, whose musical repertoire ranges from country to hip hop, is about as well known for his antics off-stage as for his chart-busting musical talent. In 2006, he wed former "Baywatch" actress Pamela Anderson, clad in a white string bikini, on a yacht in Saint-Tropez, France. But they split up three months later. In June, while hosting the Country Music Awards, he asked singer Sheryl Crow on stage if she'd have his baby.

Kid Rock's legal troubles here began after he finished rocking a sold-out Tabernacle on Oct. 20, 2007, while promoting his then-No. 1 album, "Rock N Roll Jesus." At about 5 a.m. the next morning, he and his crew entered a Waffle House on Buford Highway where Akins had just ordered breakfast.

According to court records, Akins knew a woman in Kid Rock's entourage and they exchanged harsh words. Akins said that Kid Rock then appeared at his table telling him to "Shut the [expletive] up."

Akins claims members of Kid Rock's party then struck him and stomped on him. They carried him outside where they allegedly beat him some more and smashed his cell phone. A video camera captured the brawl inside the Waffle House.

In court proceedings, Akins' lawyer, Eric Hertz, has said he will try to introduce evidence of other brawls involving Kid Rock. This includes his 2006 arrest for assaulting a disc jockey in Nashville and a scuffle with paparazzi in Hollywood that led a jury to order Kid Rock to pay $35,000 in damages.

Kid Rock's lawyers say in court filings the prior incidents should not be admitted. They are likely to note Akins has had his own scrapes with the law, including a 1996 arrest for domestic violence.

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